14-18 Langres

at war

Carteret-Trecourt Barracks:


The American army academies. The Marne Valley and the American Hospital

When war was declared, the Cartaret-Trecourt barracks were used by the French army. Upon mobilisation, the building was occupied by territorial reserve troops. It also held depots for clothing necessary for uniforms for volunteer and enrolled mobilised forces.

When the Americans arrived in November 1917, the building was designated for the Army General Staff College. The first classes were given on November 28th 1917 in Spartan conditions. The furniture was crafted from rough wooden planks, large halls were heated only with a small stove burning green wood which gave off a lot of smoke, there was no electricity and they were lit with oil lamps...The numbers were 75 student officers.

During the session, the American army decided to improve studying conditions for the student officers. As from 1st January 1918, the furniture was changed, electricity installed in the barracks and the stoves replaced with more efficient models. At the end of the first training course, on February 15th 1918, the Army General Staff College qualified 45 students to serve in different units.

On 4th February 1918, the building was host to the College of the American Line in charge of training officers in infantry tactics. As from 25th July 1918, the American Information School took its place. The classes taught the officers about the organisation of the German army, prisoner interrogation, how to make use of documents seized from the enemy and how to read aerial photographs.

In 1918, the Americans set up extra hospitals in the Marne Valley:

- Base Hospital n°53: the unit arrived in Langres on August 7th 1918 and built huts capable of holding up to 1,500 beds. It received its first patients on 16th September and was to treat 12,108 sick and wounded patients during its active period which ended on March 16th 1919. On 9th March 1919, on demand of the Lieutenant Colonel Hart, Chief Doctor of the American Hospital n°53, the municipal council authorised the American medical personnel to wear on their left arm the coat of arms of the town of Langres. The hospital ended its functions on 31st May 1919.

- Base Hospital n° 88: this unit reached the hospital n°53 on 11th October 1918. It received its first patients on 15th October. 4,691 patients received surgery and care until its departure on January 11th 1919.

Together with Evacuation Hospital n°18, they formed the Hospital Center, a medical unit able to receive up to 4,000 patients.

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